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Brahms tour de force at Cadogan Hall


The choir makes its annual visit to Cadogan Hall on Saturday 16 March with a performance of the stunning Brahms' German Requiem.

 

Harry Bradford describes the Requiem as "a message of consolation and hope to the living, a piece like no other. Containing some of the most beautiful melodies ever composed, the piece is a tour de force for choir and orchestra alike. It will be paired with the Tragic Overture and the equally stunning Alto Rhapsody, creating a fantastic celebration of one of history's greatest musical minds." 

 

The Requiem is Brahms’ longest composition and represents his most ambitious vocal music. While typically a requiem is based on the Roman Catholic mass for the dead (missa pro defunctis) Brahms, as a protestant, assembled the libretto himself, choosing his own verses from Martin Luther’s German translation of the Bible, selecting text passages that would not only mourn the dead, but also comfort the living. The title refers primarily to the language rather than the audience; Brahms said he would gladly have called it 'Ein menschliches requiem' – a human requiem.


Brahms completed two movements in 1861 in memory of his friend Robert Schumann who had died in 1856. When his Mother died in 1865, Brahms was determined to finish the piece and he completed four additional movements by the summer of 1866. The work was premiered in its initial form on 1 December 1867; it was subsequently expanded and the full seven movements were first heard in Leipzig on 18 February 1869.

 

For the performance at Cadogan Hall, the choir will be joined by soloists Rebecca Hardwick, Bernadette Johns and Alexander Bower-Brown (TPC choral scholar 2021-22), together with members of the third cohort of TPC choral scholars. We will again be supported by the excellent instrumental ensemble, Beaufoy Sinfonia, many of whose players are recent graduates of the major London conservatories, often to be found within the ranks of the UK’s leading orchestras. The concert will be conducted by Harry Bradford.

 

Tickets for the concert can be obtained from Cadogan Hall on 020 7730 4500 or online at www.cadoganhall.com        

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